2nd. article in our 7week series on Sci-Fi/Fantasy
By Comic Relief
Though we haven’t seen anything from Ridley Scott in a while, one of Hollywood’s science fiction heavy weights is about to return to the genre that made him great. One of Hollywood’s Godfathers of futuristic horror, most of Scott’s early work still hasn’t been surpassed creatively. So you may be wondering what made him so great. Well, we’ll explore that, but first let’s review the clip. Barely more than cutting room floor refuse, Scott’s Prometheus’ impressionistic trailer has kept audiences riveted for most of the last year.
How could you be anything but an innovator if you have a portfolio like this; “Someone to Watch Over Me” (1987),“Hannibal”(2001),“American Gangster “(2007),“Gladiator” (2000),“Black Hawk Down” (2001),“Thelma & Louise” (1991),“Kingdom of Heaven” – Director’s Cut (2005), “Alien” (1979),“Blade Runner” (1982), and many think your first two science fiction films are the best of your best work? Acting wise, should I mention who he’s made stars out of: Sigourney Weaver, Russell Crowe, Tom Berenger, Mimi Rogers, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Julianne Moore, Gary Oldman,Ewan McGregor, Eric Bana, Josh Hartnett, Tom Sizemore, Brad Pitt, etc., but most of that is fairly subjective.
I want to discuss some of the film making assets we can use box office dollars to quantify. I would say the strongest weapons of Ridley’s arsenal are: 1. His gift for building strong characters, 2. His exceptional ability to put audiences in the worlds of his characters, and 3. His knowledge of when to step aside and let the work of others speak.
“Thelma and Louise” should confirm his genius for creating strong women characters, yet without his character “Ripley” would we have ever seen a woman perform that well in an action movie. Maybe the character’s similar name confirms he purely made sure a woman had all of the instincts he would endow himself with if he were a character.
Speaking of bringing audiences into the heads of the characters, claustrophobia was one of the fears you had to experience to understand the space horror in “Alien.” All the close-ups and tight spaces were the foundation of discomfort that made you jump, whenever one of the aliens pounced.
Speaking of set design, if nothing else, Ridley was a master collaborator. Despite the obvious narrative nature of the film, many attribute the visual nature of the original Alien movie to artist H.R.Giger.
So many film philosophers were provoked by his work. Quoting A.R. Duckworth,
“The film explores, through the detective figure Deckard, questions of
authenticity. An aspect of postmodernity is the loss of faith in traditional
meta-narratives [meta-narratives are the overarching stories that explains
and legitimises knowledge or belief .”
Past, present, and future all assembled for the same narrative, how many articles dedicated to post-modern design have referenced the visionary urban vistas of “Blade Runner?”
It may be a lot to ask for, yet since this is film is a prelude to his return to Blade Runner, let’s hope this is more of a return to form than a franchise sequel. Since neither Sigourney Weaver nor Harrison Ford plans to return for those respective films, we can only hope Ridley has another chapter of his own ground breaking vision to supply these new works.
Here’s another hint at what the film’s name means to a film derived from the “Alien” franchise.
Please join us for a discussion Thursday 4/5/2012@7pmE/12UTC